The Funding Your Project panel took place on Friday at Summer in the City 2015. It featured creators including Emily Diana Ruth, Meghan Tonjes and representatives from New Form Digital. It was chaired by Mike Buonaiuto.
Taking place in Panel Room B to a small audience of musicians, filmmakers and vloggers, the panellists discussed at length ways to fund upcoming ventures, as well as the importance of using platforms like YouTube for promotion.
The panel consisted of: Emily Diana Ruth, who was recently part of New Form Digital’s Incubator 2 short film series; Meghan Tonjes, who is funded via Patreon for her music and podcast; Jack Ferry, Director and Producer of Not Too Deep starring Grace Helbig, and Executive Producer of Oscar’s Hotel starring PJ Liguori; and Melissa Schneider, Executive Producer of Oscar’s Hotel and Senior Vice President of Production and Development at New Form Digital.
Taking it in turns to discuss their different paths to find funding, Emily touched upon the importance of YouTube in finding her audience, which aided in raising the money via IndieGoGo for her first short film The Water’s Fine. She later went on to give tips on how to encourage donations via sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, explaining that if you were to make a dent in the target within the first 24 hours, it would draw more attention. So having an audience, and using friends and family to do that, would help.
Melissa and Jack also went on to explain what exactly New Form Digital look for in new projects, stating that they look to fund ‘out of the box’ short films with potential for longer form content (such as series). An example of this is the upcoming Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures, which Vimeo has picked up for a six episode series on the basis of the short.
Finally Jordan, an audience member for the panel and representative of Patreon, asked Meghan for any tips on starting a campaign and what made her hesitant in using funding methods for projects.
“The most important thing with crowdfunding is, people need to trust you” explained Meghan. “And I think that helps when you’re a good person, and you make stuff that you are really passionate about. The Patreon thing [as opposed to Kickstarter] is a lot more about the personality of the person that is doing it. You want to be a part of something bigger because you trust what someone is making, you know they want to be doing it and they’re going to engage with you in a way you don’t always get with YouTube comments or things like that”.
Photos by: Dave Bird
Want more from Summer in the City 2015?
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